When I began using the Station Rotation Model with students, I made a habit of printing directions for offline stations and typing directions for my online stations. I used Google Docs for my online directions because it was easy to mix text and images then share that document directly with students. My goal was to create instructions that were so detailed and clear that my students would not need to interrupt my teacher-led station to ask questions.
Over time my online directions morphed into multimedia and multilayered “experiences” that engaged students in a range of activities. I did not realize it then, but I was creating hyperdocs. “Hyperdocs” (interactive Google Doc) is a word coined by Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, and Sarah Landis, who joined forces to write The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps.
As I read through their handbook, I began thinking about the value of using hyperdocs not just for stations but for all kinds of lessons to allow my students more opportunities to control the pace of their learning. When teachers march lockstep through a series of activities, many students end up feeling out of step. By contrast, when teachers use an interactive Google Document with the lesson outline, directions, and links to online resources and videos, they allow students to move at their own pace through the lesson. The teacher is then free to circulate around the room providing support as needed.
For teachers interested in exploring hyperdocs, the authors of The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps created a companion website with samples and templates. They want teachers to share the hyperdocs they’ve created and, ultimately, build a community of shared resources. Below is a hyperdoc titled “Fables, Folktales, and Myths” created by Laura Moore that is shared on the site.
Both the book and the website are fantastic resources for any teaching using Google Apps with students!